He hunted alone in the cold against a beast that was formidable. After his conquest he shared in a rare experience which bonded him uniquely to the clan (much like the SEAL fraternity today.)
Bonding, unity, fraternity, allegiance, intimacy, trust and love: these are all constituent in the shared experience of the few. In the faith (not the religion of Christianity) in Jesus there is a bond. This bond is with one another and Christ. But this is found through right of passage….there are few.
This bond occurs through common suffering. This suffering comes due to faith, the faith that pulls individuals to ally with Christ in His mission and self-sacrifice.
Some have laid down there lives (not church people), they have taken up their cross (not professional ministers), some have denied themselves (not wild Pentecostals), and some follow Jesus (not Bible students.)
These terms (laying down your life, self denial, following Jesus, and taking up your cross) have been so distorted, bent and stretched, that they no longer resemble the authentic life of Jesus. The have have lost their original shape.
Some have thought it was giving up drugs…what idiot wouldn’t give up drugs…there is no future there. Some have quit saying culturally inappropriate words….I do not remember this admonition in the Bible.
Others have quit drinking….I do not know anyone better off drinking than sober…tithing, Sunday school, parking cars on Sunday, holy language, speaking in tongues and prophesies….all are things people point to to prove their transformation. Huh, funny, they aren’t what Jesus points to.
How will you straighten out this crocked perspective, what will bend it back into shape?
Only one thing….look at Jesus…read his words….do what he says….live like he lived…love as he did…admonish as he did…have the devotion he had….take on the same purpose….do it hour-by-hour and day-after-day… This is transformation!
As you do this you will suffer as he did. Through this you will gain intimacy. This is the bond that is formed through trails, sweat, and difficulty….this respect and honor is for those who fight along side Jesus as a disciple, not a mere convert (converts to the Christian cult are a dime a dozen.) He calls these his Band of Brothers.
Many live in Sparta but few are Spartans!